September 21, 2014

Frugal Fashionista is Back (& Why It Stopped)

Jul24

fFrugal Fashonista Designer outfits on a thrift store budget

For nearly six years, I’ve carved out a tiny corner in this crazy blogosphere world.

What started out as authentic snippets of my life with five children and the crazy things that come with balancing beauty and bedlam turned into an entirely new genre of my writing under the umbrella of frugal living. Two years into my blog, we survived another long round of unemployment, and so much of what I wrote centered around surviving thriving and raising kids on basically a year long spending sabbatical.

So much of who I am, how we raise our children and core values we hold dear, came through life lessons learned through our years of unexpected financial hardships, the worst occurring before I even started my blog.

The Frugal Fashionista series didn’t come from that unemployment time. Believe it or not, my designer outfits on a thrift store budget came long before my blog. It just so happened that when I first posted my “accidental frugal fashionistsa post in 2009,” I was one of the first to “come out of the closet” so to speak in the Goodwill fashion world.
Frugal Fashionista - designer outfits on a thrift store budget

$5 Thrift Store Dress that I wore for Easter

Five years ago people weren’t singing “Thrift Shop,” and there was no one putting up pictures of themselves sporting their latest Goodwill finds. I was an oddity and people came around just to see if it was for real (and I’m so embarrassed at some of the outfits now. Fashion sure does change quickly.) 

I was thrilled to crack open the door to this way of shopping and it meant so much to hear excitement through comments and emails from ladies who for the first time were dressing fabulously on a budget they could afford.

But the fun world of blogging where I could spontaneously post and not worry about pinterest and good photography and everything being “just so” has changed with technology.

I miss those good ole days. The days where I didn’t spend much time editing and just shared because I wanted to encourage others. My personality is so spontaneous and “take me as I am” that this current shift has really stifled me in ways I don’t like.

I started second guess myself, over thinking everything and then I just stopped posting. Not just with Frugal Fashionista posts, but others as well. I have been exhausted and sticking to things that are safe, which is ironic because in real life, I run from safe. I am so much about risk and dreaming big, but insecurities have a way of being magnified in this social media world and they rear their ugly head. I want to be honest about that.

We live in this pinterest perfect world with so much beautiful content out there, that for the blogger like myself where life is rarely perfect, yet awfully beautiful in an embrace life kind of way, it’s a challenge and I’ve had enough.

I just can’t begin to wrestle with the comparison trap because I don’t have the time to measure up. I am living life in my highest calling: as a mom struggling to raise children, as a wife wanting to give more time to her husband, as a Christian desiring to make a difference flawed and all, and even as a business woman wondering how she can possibly keep up with the new talent surrounding her.

Those are topics I need to spend my time on and share more glimpses of that here on the blog.

I’ve lost some of my long time readers during this period, but I hope to bring you back.

Can you tell this isn’t just a “Frugal Fashionista” post. It’s now become fashion meets Psychology 101 post.

 Let's get this frugal fashionista series going again

I posted the picture above 22 whole weeks ago on Instagram. I LOVE IG and facebook updates. For me, it’s old time blogging and how I used to share. Here’s what I wrote.

“After a long sabbatical from my Frugal Fashionista series, I’m putting aside the insecurities of why I stopped. Women need to be encouraged that regardless of ones budget, you can have fun with fashion.

So my imperfect fashion posts will resume, complete with crooked necklace, $1 Gap yard sale tee, gap outlet pants, $3 thrifted cardigan and two day old pony tail.”

Then guess what? I never started!! And I was skinny then. (Yep, gained ten pounds since that picture, but that’s a whole different post. I love my carbs and it will always be a balancing act.)

The insecurities of not measuring up started whispering and I just postponed and postponed.

A little back ground – I HATE posting for pictures of myself. I feel silly. My 11 year old daughter is my photographer and it’s rare that we get that perfect shot. Most of my Frugal Fashionista pictures are taken after a full day of living life.

I have NEVER ever dressed just to take a picture, therefore make up, hair and life get in the way, but readers in their “bless your heart” kind of way always make sure they let me know if I need to stand up straighter, wear spanx under my dress because my muffin top was showing, use eyebrow pencil (and yes, I do, but by the time I take pictures, it’s gone) or whatever tip they are sharing to make sure I look better than what I’ve posted.

Frugal Fashionista $5 dress

$3.99 Goodwill shoes, barely worn. If wearing used shoes kind of freaks you out, I wrote a post:

Should I seriously wear second hand shoes?

It starts to wear. I’m not a fashion blogger, nor do I put myself out there as one, but it goes back to the fact one can hear 10 complements, yet it’s the one negative that sticks with you.

Well, no more.  I’ve been thinking alot about what needs to come back to this space and Frugal Fashionista is one of them, not because I care so much about what we all look like, but because I don’t, yet with just a few tweaks, it makes all the difference. We have worth and value regardless of those voices that tell us just the opposite. It doesn’t matter what size we are or if our weight fluctuates. We are women who need to embrace who we are in all stages of our lives.

 I have lived life in sweat pants, but when I spend a bit more time carrying about myself, I feel better about myself, yet I never get consumed over it. We don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to do that and over the years, I’ve encouraged women that they can look like a million bucks on a thrift store budget.  I still believe it. I still shop like that (even though for the first time in our married life, I have extra money to spend on clothes if I choose to). Nothing has changed here in my heart.

It a normal girl fashion posts. :)

So I am back, and I hope you’ll come along this journey with me. I’m going to hit post without editing!!! I am going to assume that while some of you may think I am crazy to share all of this on a fashion post, there will be some of you who will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that as women, we are all on this comparison journey together.  I want to replace those lies with truth.

We are beautiful, even when we don’t feel it. We have such value, even when the world whispers otherwise, and we are loved by a heavenly Father who wants nothing more than to assure us of how special we are.

And on that note, scroll back up and look at that adorable Coral Dress I found!! $5!! Can you even believe it? It’s so unique,  it fit perfectly and when you find a dress like that, snatch it up. I would have paid more than $5. :)

$2 earring haul

 $2 clearance earrings from Rue 21. Yes,  you may be surrounded by teens,  but my jewelry haul was amazing.

Note: hair that needs a highlight, eyebrow pencils that haven’t been used, wrinkles that come with a beautiful life and odd smile that I am chuckling about.

Favorite $1 yard sale shirt with super fun sleeves, $1 tank, purple pants from Tanger outlet and another pair of those $2 earrings from Rue 21.

I still love this outfit with the fun pop of color pants. It does pay to invest in a few good pieces. I’ve worn these shoes for FIVE years and they are by far my most comfortable heels.

So glad you are here!!! It’s good to be back. :)


Comments

  1. Yay!!!!! I’ve pretty much quit commenting on blogs, but this one needs a comment!! I also quit blogging for awhile for several reasons, but most of it stemmed from fear and my lack of thick skin. Thanks for the encouragement in this post! Can’t wait to see more imperfect pics!! Xoxo

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    Jen Reply:

    @mollie@momconformist, I appreciate your comment more than you will know. I don’t comment much either, but now that no one else does, I realize how much I miss the interaction (even though it’s just online)

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  2. Teresa H. Fields says:

    Wonderful post and Welcome back!

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  3. Yay!!! So glad to see the Frugal Fahionista posts return. I also miss your COST and other cooking posts as well. It’s time for some old school blogging up in here!

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  4. Jennifer says:

    So glad you are back on with posts. I enjoy seeing a real person and reading about your finds.

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  5. “Breathing a sigh of relief” here. I love these posts. You’re one of the reasons I hang out in thrift stores, so, thank you!

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  6. So glad that you are bringing back Frugal Fashionista!! I love to see the deals and steals that you find! It’s so good to see a mom, dressing cute and for less!!! You are beautiful inside and out and you inspire others. Thanks so much for taking this step even if it makes you uncomfortable sometimes. This reader appreciates it

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  7. Jen, I love your frugal fashionista posts! Your blog is one of the reasons I love blogging. My blog is not about frugality or fashion yet I love so much the lessons I’ve learned here. Let’s be real! We need real people to share their stories not picture-perfect fashion plates!

    Blog like the old days! We love it!

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  8. Thank you for this post! For a million reasons, thank you. Please keep it up, you are encouraging to so many of us.

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  9. You are an authentic, genuine and warm person. I’d much rather read what you have to say over a glossy, photo-shopped fake pictures and people.

    You are appreciated as you are! No need to change!

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  10. Vanessa says:

    Thank you. :-) Glad you are posting these again! And yes, your coral dress is spectacular!

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  11. Traci Morgan says:

    Your frugal fashionista posts have been what brought me here and have always been my favorite posts. They are just so much fun and inspiring! I mean dressing cute and getting a good deal combined is my cup of tea. I am bummed that you received some negative feedback but I hope that you can overlook those comments if that happens again. I like the idea of doing things the “old fashioned” blogging way, before Pinterest. Just go for it!

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  12. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy! Your blog is a safe haven. Thank you for being real : )

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  13. I’m so glad you are back.

    I totally agree with your statement here: “I miss those good ole days. The days where I didn’t spend much time editing and just shared because I wanted to encourage others.”

    I don’t necessarily miss them about YOU but about blogging in general. I follow a few where they don’t edit pictures and it’s refreshing.

    Your blog is one of my favorites because it’s “you”.

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  14. Jen, I’m excited about these frugal fashionista posts. I have no room in my budget for clothes. And I have a great thrift store nearby. About 75% of the clothes in my closet are second-hand. And I love shopping this way. Even when I had money to shop at the mall, I still chose to thrift. What I don’t have is fashion sense. Which can be a problem when you’re thrifting. I usually just buy what I like, but it isn’t always fashionable. So glad you are coming back to this. I need your fashion sense. Blessings to you!

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  15. I could not agree more. You were the first blog I subscribe to…because you are real.

    God bless you for all you share…your spirit is wonderful. Giant hugs! Sharyl

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  16. JennyBC says:

    I have enjoyed your blog for awhile. Maybe it’s because I feel like I could sit on that front porch with you and enjoy a good conversation about life, raising kids, being a helpmate to my husband and fashion. You are a friend on the blog. I like that you celebrate your accomplishments and yet show us the process it took to get there. Thank you for not editing life and thank you for sharing with us.

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    Jen Reply:

    You are so welcome and please know that any time you are in my neck of the NC woods, you are SO welcome to come join me on the porch. I’d love it. :)

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  17. I am so happy! I love the Frugal Fashionista posts. :) Thanks so much for representing us.

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  18. I just have to say HOORAY!!! So many bloggers that I loved have become so polished and “pro” that they are no longer posting things I can relate to, or could pull off if I were inspired to imitate. So excited to have this back, and to find someone else who is willing to let smile-lines, and lack of hair color and real life be seen. :) Thanks for keeping it real!

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    Bonnie Reply:

    @Spring, Amen to that!

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  19. Jen, you are beautiful and real. What draws me to you is the real part, I am older, fatter, with a less than perfect family and home but a Wonderful Perfectly blessed life. I enjoy seeing a woman who is walking in joy through a world full of materialism and coming out clean. That’s what I see the light only He shines through people, not with fake sparkle but with true shine. I also Love that behind you in the picture is some cleaning stuff and a rag, that perfectly illustrates that in this world you are still cleaning up the dirt, hey it splashes on us all doesn’t it? Thank you for all you do to encourage! Be blessed in the bedlam and the beauty!

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    Jen Reply:

    You are so sweet and point on with the cleaning stuff. Cleaning up the dirt is never finished at this house. :)

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  20. Good for you!

    And as a fellow six-year blogger, I feel you. There’s so much more “required” now to make it in the blogging world, especially with the advent of Pinterest.

    But like you, there’s only so much I can do. I don’t have a staff…it’s just me, trying to mom and wife and blog and homeschool, etc., and I can’t do it all. :)

    Rock on! I’m excited that your Frugal Fashionista series is back.

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    Jen Reply:

    oh friend – it’s exhausting, isn’t it? I’ve lost my way a bit trying to balance the spontaneity and the “requirements” as a “professional” blog, and it’s drained me. I can’t keep up with all the new bloggers who have taken their pics and content to the next level, so I am just embracing what ever the Lord has for me in this space.

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  21. tealady3 says:

    WELCOME BACK I love the fact that you show us how you look great and don’t have to spend a lot of money to do so.I have not bought anything new except for bras,panties and socks in years because I am a die hard thrift store shopper. I am looking forward to your future posts.

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  22. Susan K says:

    Yay!

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  23. I absolutely love shopping 2nd hand. Sometimes people snarl their nose but hey…they’re just jealous that I am dressed just as nice as them for a fraction of the price. I am loud and proud about my bargain finds. I’m excited about the Frugal Fashionista series.

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    Jen Reply:

    I can’t even imagine doing all my shopping retail anymore. :)

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  24. I love your frugal fashionista post, and I’ve missed them. And you always look great!

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  25. Angelique says:

    I’m glad you decided to do these posts again. I don’t do a lot of thrift shop shopping anymore but I like seeing blogs by normal women (especially in my age-range) who have lumps, bumps, discolorations and ‘odd smiles’ ;) and do not have a lot of money to blow on fashion or beauty – because that is what I identify with. I still pin the ‘perfect’ women pics if I see something beauty or fashion related that I like, but I feel insecure wearing it until I see someone ‘normal’ rocking the outfit / tanning lotion / makeup because I am short, chubby and pale with rosacea :P Blablabla, anyways – welcome back!

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    Jen Reply:

    Thanks so much. :) We are all on this journey together and yep, I pin those “perfect” pins too, but there’s just needs to be balance for me between reality and perfection.

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  26. I’m glad you’re back, and you look beautiful!!!

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  27. So glad your fashionista is back, I missed it. Keep encouraging others, its your gift.

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  28. I loved this post and I think you look amazing. I did not notice the missing eyebrow pencil, the wrinkles or the hair that needed top be highlighted. I did notice the beautiful you and the amazing way you put together such gorgeous outfits. :)

    I understand about insecurities and I often second guess myself about things that I may want to share, but am afraid to because someone might be offended or might be critical of my personal thoughts, this judging me. I actually had someone who would read what I wrote and then twisted things and said I was “unkind, fake and not truthful and tried to appear to be something that I am not”. Well, what you see and read is really me…raw and uncensored. The most hurtful thing is that this person knows me in real life and we have been nothing but kind to them and gone above and beyond for them for over 20 years now. I finally have come to the point where I realize it is their problem and I am not going to let them stop me from being real and being me. If they want to project all their issues and insecurities on me, then again, that is their problem and not mine. All I can do is try to not let their toxicity hurt me and my family.

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  29. Those were my favorite posts. And I miss the old point & shoot type of posts from bloggers. Everything seems so perfect now that I cannot measure up. But I won’t try either. I’m a thrifter through & through…the smart way to shop! I think you even posted pics of some of my outfits once, now that I think of it. Or am I dreaming? Either way, welcome back!

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  30. It’s nice to see “real life” posts. Yes, as others have stated you are beautiful inside and out. I’m looking forward to many more posts.

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  31. You were one of the first blogs I started reading. I found you through Nester’s 30 Days party several years ago (I believe I picked 3 to read and you were one of the three). The Frugal Fashionista posts are my faves.

    I have a Pinterest account but never look at it. (It stinks on mobile.) I also can’t stand the perfectionism. There is a blog I used to love but quit reading because it depressed me. (Her talented husband does so many projects; my husband has no enthusiasm for home projects.). So I just quit reading it.

    You have your audience, Jen. Don’t feel you have to be perfect or “professional” on our account.

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  32. MommaLamb says:

    OMG so happy the frugal fashionista is back! I love, love hearing about your thrift store finds! It’s very inspiring and I now only shop at thrift stores since reading your blogs! Thank you so much!

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  33. I started reading your blog because of the frugal fashionista posts and I started shopping the thrift store clothing aisles because of your encouragement. Glad to see that you are back!

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  34. I have really missed your posts. I am so glad you will be doing more posts and if your blog was perfect I wouldn’t be able to relate. Welcome back!

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  35. One of the things that I love about your blog is how real you are. I love your frugal fashionista posts and it’s one of the reasons I got back into shopping at thrift stores again. (Even shoes) I really enjoy getting a compliment on an outfit that I have less than 10 bucks in! Keep it up!

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  36. Hi Jen, I have followed your blog for several years. I think that whatever you post whether it be about family, food, finance, or spiritual it is a pleasure to read. I have been inspired by almost everything you post or blog about.
    God has used you in so many ways that you share on this blog. People follow you for a reason. Because they love you the way you are. So you are right don’t let this crazy world change the person that so many love.
    Being a mom in her early 40′s to a teen and tween I can so relate to your stories. Also, maybe I’m old fashioned but if people don’t have anything nice to say, maybe they shouldn’t say anything at all.

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  37. Was happy to hear you’ll be sharing your frugal fashion finds again. This was what attracted me first to your site. You have made me a convert to thrift store shopping! Thanks also for sharing your inner thoughts and insights … It makes you more real and relatable…. Your comments about keeping up in today’s fast paced world reinforce what my sister taught me long ago ….. You never know what is really going on with other peoples lives…..she always reminded me to never compare my insides to someone else’s outsides! So difficult to do in our Pinterest world…….

    Thanks for the fun you bring me when I read your posts.

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  38. I think I found your blog a long time ago through one of your fashionista posts, so I’m happy you’re doing them again. I love looking on Pinterest for ideas, but it does make me sad that it’s caused many of the bloggers I follow to go the more professional route. But with lovely ladies like you and Crystal from MSM going back to what you loved about blogging in the first place, I think we’ll all be blessed. Thank you for being real! :)

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  39. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your willingness to continue in open, honest blogging. I APPRECIATE the things that may not be pinterest perfect! Who cares about pinterest! I’m here to learn, be encouraged, and read that my life may be “normal” with all the “bedlam” that abounds. The little imperfections in your pictures (which I usually don’t even see) just means you are real and you have more important things to think about….like your relationship with your husband, children and the Lord.

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  40. Jen, I’ve always thought you looked cute as a bug in your thrifted outfits. You definitely have a flair for fashion. What I’ve noticed about some of the blogs is they have become more of a business than anything else. A lot of the authenticity is missing. I know many of these bloggers are making a living off of their blogs and publishing books. We don’t expect perfection from you and we appreciate your unique voice. You go girl!

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  41. Welcome back! You know what, I wasn’t thinking about the eyebrows or the wrinkles until you mentioned them. We can be our own worse critics, which I think is why the negative comments get to us. You are beautiful, your outfits are great, and you look like a real person instead of a photoshopped model. :)

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  42. I am so glad you decided to start again. Things like the Frugal Fashionista are some of my favorite topics on your site. I receive daily emails from several other “savings” blogs but yours are the only ones I open every time because most of theirs are just a listing of the deals they post all day but your posts are actually enjoyable to read and share information that I am excited to learn.

    Please continue to take those pics and post them without regret, things like the askew necklace or mess in the background just proves that you live the life that you are writing about every day. Most women look at Pinterest and become discouraged because how can you possibly keep up with that? Your site is exactly the opposite you give us the courage to go ahead and live our lives even though they aren’t picture perfect every time.

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  43. Yay! I started following you a few years ago because of your frugal fashion posts. I love that you’re a real person. I live in Belgium and Goodwill doesn’t exist but second hand shops are starting to open up. I get most of my clothes there or at the sales. You’ve been an inspiration to me to try to look the best I can without spending a fortune. Thanks and God bless. And stay real (in spite of that one negative comment out of so many positive ones!) :-)

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  44. Your blog is the first one I subscribed to and I’m so glad I did. I appreciate the genuiness of your heart as you share the adventures God has lead you and your family through. The only thing better than being able to read your blog everyday would be to actually sit on your beautiful new porch and share a cup of tea with you. The encouragement you give to all of us is highly treasured.
    I am also a Frugal Fashionista fan and so glad to hear you are bringing it back!
    You are a beautiful lady, Jen, in every way!
    A friend from Northern CA.

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  45. Yay! I am so glad you’re back! You, sweet lady, are why I have been able to get myself “new” clothes during our season of only one steady income! Thank you so much for opening the door to thrifting clothes for me! I can’t wait to see what you’ve been able to find in your neck of the woods!

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  46. Teri from Indiana says:

    I am so happy to see you posting on fashion again. I have struggled with the whole thrift store/garage sale fashion thing. Not because I think I’m too good but because I wondered what others would think if they knew. AKA others being my older sisters who tend to be snotty about such things. You know what? It didn’t take me long to figure out that their $85 purses weren’t as cute as my $2 find. Welcome back!! I can’t wait until you post more picture. Excuse me while my granddaughter and I hit a garage sale for school clothes.

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    Jen Reply:

    haha – I LOVE that, Teri!! I’ll take your $2 purse any day. We can laugh our way all the way to the bank and deposit the difference in our savings account. :)

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  47. Linda Bird says:

    I think the word is authentic. I would rather read your “real” blog than the perfect ones. If people don’t like it, its a free world and they can read else where.

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  48. Paula Romer says:

    Hi Jen,
    I just had to comment on your post. I have been following you for a few years now…4 years…since becoming a full-time SAHM. Your posts have been so encouraging, authentic and inspiring. I love your blog due to all the variety and diversity of content. You are such a beautiful person, inside and out, who reflects and shines the light of Jesus. Keep doing what you are doing…in the way you have always done it. I am sure it already takes hours and hours to blog…but why add that extra stress and pressure trying to change who you are to be what you have called “relevant” in this new age of blogging. Trust me, I am sure there are more women than not, who appreciate less hyped up, hyper-perfectionistic, photo-shopped and uber styled photos and blog content. People come back to your blog again and again to see the JEN they know and love…not some picture-perfect, plastic version of Jen.

    Keep on keepin on, Jen! You are the real deal! I am not even on Pinterest and stay plenty busy with creativity and inspiration from other various sources. I am sorry commenters have been unkind, rude and have felt free to share with you their opinions and have made you doubt yourself and your mission. Stay strong and stay the course.
    We love you!!!

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    Sabra Penley Reply:

    @Paula Romer, AMEN!

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  49. Jen, you’ve always been naturally pretty (makeup or not) and thin, even when you posted abt some comment having gained some weight and your son made some comment – when I was sitting behind you that very day before and was thinking how thin you were and how most women who’d had 5 kids weren’t quite so. So, it’s all about perspective. I’m sorry abt the negative comments, they can feel like a punch in the stomach even amongst so much other positive or even neutral feedback. I must admit I admire the posting without editing and so many other honest peeks you give us into your life. Very brave and that’s what us gals need to pioneer that step for us to help us accept ourselves and open up to each other to know we’re not alone in our trials. ☺️

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  50. I love Frugal Fashionista! I’m a long time Goodwill thrifter myself and I love to see the treasures other score. I like the honest pics best — most of us moms are busy, too, and REAL glimpses, rather than staged ones, seem friendlier? (not sure that’s the right word….). I don’t want to see pinterest perfection — I want to see what amazing deals you found and how you’re wearing them. It’s inspiration for me — seeing a scarf worn a different way — or earrings or shoes with certain outfits — makes me think through what I have in my closet or what to keep my eyes open for during my next Goodwill run.

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  51. Yay!!!! I’m so glad you’re back! Frugal Fashionista was one of the first blogs I followed! I love your ‘realness’!

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  52. Thank you for this post, I need real! I enjoy your blog because it’s real, and you have encouraged me to try things, even if it’s not perfect. And I so appreciate that! Thank you!!

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  53. I don’t usually comment on posts, however, I was touched by your honesty, and want to thank you for being real. You mentioned “pinterest perfection”, and the pitfalls of social media. I’m glad you are stepping back out there and being yourself. It is refreshing and I think as women, wives, mothers, we all need to be more of that and less of the “pinterest perfect” women we think others want us to be.

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  54. Jen,

    Thank you so much for this post. I always enjoyed your “frugal-fashionista” posts. I used to be a “closet” thrift store clothes shopper. Now I share with anyone who asks where I get some of my great finds!
    I love that you show off your fashion tips on the cheap. And I have always just focused on your outfits, never your hair color, eyebrows. That is not what you are sharing with us. You are so warm and loving. When someone is genuine, you see their heart :)

    Thanks for being you!

    Janet

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  55. Elizabeth Torma says:

    So enjoyed this post! I appreciate your honesty – think we all share your thoughts about insecurities and putting ourselves out there. I am a proud thrift shopper as well! Look forward to future posts! Thanks :)

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  56. Oh, Jen,
    Thank you for your honesty. You are such a blessing!
    It was you who helped this poor worship team member learn to search out thrift store finds, to have enough nice looking things to wear in front of the church every week!
    (Yes, I still get” It’s fall, you aren’t wearing fall colors, “You shouldn’t wear pants” ($8 Dana Buchman dress pants in below freezing weather)etc.,
    If they are worshiping, that’s what matters, and we ARE learning from your beauty and generous guidance.
    Thank you!
    Diane

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  57. I commented on Instagram but wanted to say again that way back years ago, when I was reading mostly mommy blogs, I read yours and was always inspired by your content. I was amazed by your thrift and second-hand fashion. Then, my hubby lost his job and my sister took me to Value Village for “retail therapy” and I committed to a year of second-hand shopping and started up a blog that is soon going into its 3rd year. Thrifting is more “in vogue” now thanks to people like you who helped it become mainstream. I hear you about being out there as an (older!) fashion blogger, and like you, my blog is real-life styled! My kids take my pics using an old camera, nothing fancy. I don’t know even know how to use photoshop! No chance to look wistfully at the horizon – I look straight ahead and smile! I have started doing “thrift consultations” – so much fun – and have helped women of all ages, sizes and styles outfit themselves stylishly second-hand. We ARE real women with real budgets and real bodies. I’m glad to represent that in the fashion blogging community even though it may mean I never have a ton of followers. Thanks for all you do here! All I see is a gorgeous woman, inside and out! I am looking forward to all your future unedited Frugal Fashionista posts!

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  58. Post whatever you feel God leads you to post and don’t worry about the haters. If you’re walking in His calling, then you’re doing what you need to be doing. I’ve never shopped Goodwill, but after seeing your Frugal Fashionista posts, I’m inspired to do so!

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  59. Jamiee M. says:

    I am so glad the Frugal Fashionista is back! I love that it’s real an unedited. I have compared myself to others all my life and finally in my late 30′s I have really learned who I am in Christ and that “Comparison is the Thief of Joy”. Of course it still trys to rear it’s ugly head from time to time. Love your blog and your heart! Blessings!

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  60. I will be back to a regular viewer of your blog now. It was one I felt comfortable with, I love thrift store finds, and I loved the fact you weren’t showing “perfect”. It gave me hope that I wasn’t the only one you didn’t spend 2 hours to get my outfit right, make up right, hair right….on and on. I am sick of perfect house pics, perfect food pics, and all the rest. We have a lot in common, I finally got a new kitchen floor after 23 years! And I appreciate it every day. I have a (frugal) life! I have a family, hobbies, and a farm to take care of, so anything can pop up. I can’t be perfect and frankly it just isn’t as much fun!

    Thanks for being you!

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  61. Hurray!! Frugal Fashionista has long been one of my favorite things on your blog and I have missed it. So glad that you are bringing it back!!! Sad to know that you felt you needed to be more “perfect” to post …. what I have always loved about your blog is the imperfection, the realness, the honesty and the beauty of it all!

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  62. I am so glad to see this. Fuggetaboutit! All the criticism, I mean. I’m sure you have to have a tough skin to blog, and I can see how it could get to you, but know that there are other imperfect people on the other side of the screen who really, really, enjoy REALITY! Looking forward to reading here again :)

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  63. So glad you are back! I appreciate your sharing your frugal life and your honesty. When I read your blog I feel like I’m sitting with a friend over a cup of coffee. I look forward to future posts!

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  64. Kristina says:

    I was lead to this blog by way of a google search looking for frugal fashion, so I am so psyched you are bringing back your fashion posts! I’m sorry there are trolls out there (my mama taught me to be polite, but sometimes only a blunt word will do). Clearly, I don’t just speak for myself when I say that it is precisely your lack of guile and artifice which makes you so appealing and your blog so refreshing. Keep being your old weird silly self (In my world that is a huge compliment!), and I and many like me will keep coming back.

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  65. Christine J says:

    Glad you are going to post more of what you love. I look forward to reading more soon. I don’t understand why anyone would be mean to such a nice person. They must be terribly unhappy. It’s no excuse, but in my eyes negates any credibility in their comment. I’m happy you’re back and you look lovely in all the pictures.

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  66. yea,glad to see this,it helps me to see that I can dress nice on a small budget. I have missed your cooking ideas and hearing about your family and values in Christ. thank you for all you do

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  67. Susy Lamb says:

    Yay ur back. You have no clue who I am but I am a loyal reader and I have missed these posts. We need to hear your voice. Look at all these positive comments and I never comment anymore. I was so glad to see the Frugal Fashionista is back!!!

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    Jen Reply:

    Even though I don’t know you, I so appreciate your comment. It’s so hard to find time to comment anymore and so I appreciate each and every one. :)

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  68. Yeah!!! So glad you are back!!

    It is so hard not to get discouraged in the blogging world…

    I am thankful for women like you who are REAL.

    May God continue to shine through your posts and may you be encouraged to share your heart, ideas, and great tips (fashion and all) with your readers.

    Hugs to you!! – Cyndee

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  69. I am often amazed at how mean people can be when it comes to commenting on blogs and YouTube videos! I agree that it can be scary to put ourselves out there in the same blogland as the perfect people…but I think of it like cleaning my house. Just because it won’t ever be spotlessly clean and the laundry won’t ever be completely done doesn’t mean I won’t try to make a difference . Keep on, sister! =)

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  70. Tracie H says:

    Bravo! I love your blog and especially the fashionista series. I’m so glad you are back!!!
    Xoxoxoxo

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  71. These posts are what originally drew me in to your blog. Love to see you back at it!

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  72. Elizabeth says:

    I’m so glad to see your Frugal Fashionista back!!! One of the reasons I love it is because it’s not perfect! A while ago I had to cut myself off from reading fashion and home decor blogs. I just got horribly envious and felt like I could never measure up to those perfect photos. It was bad for my mind and spirit to be reading those blogs. I don’t have the self-confidence to withstand the comparison game that I get myself into.

    Instead of reading the “perfect” blogs, I deliberately seek out blogs where the bloggers are making an effort to be honest, to talk about balance in life (I LOVE your theme of how beauty and bedlam go hand-in-hand), and to put God first in their lives. I’ve been reading your blog for several years now and I’m not about to stop. And I have to say, I’ve never noticed anything about your eyebrows, lol! I just enjoy reading your content and admiring your outfits. :)

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    Bonnie Reply:

    @Elizabeth, I agree completely. I am in the same boat with you!

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    Jen Reply:

    Thank you so much….eyebrows not with standing. haha

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  73. Yea! Glad it’s back! I went through a brief period where I was obsessed with my craft photos because I wanted to get them accepted on Craft Gawker. Than I realized I am a mom in ministry and my blog is a hobby-ain’t got time for that! SO, now I just do the best I can and people can take it or leave it.

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  74. So glad to have you back and I LOVE your honesty. I have quit blogging as well because of your above mentioned reasons. I miss it terribly but I still have trouble finding my niche. I miss the old blogging days as well. I hope you continue on and share your thrift store finds, because personally I love them. I’ve been shopping more and more at them because I can find wonderful pieces at a fraction of the cost in the stores.

    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  75. Thank you for sharing your heart. You make dressing well for less look doable for the fashion challenged like me. I wanted to start a blog 6 years ago to encourage women and girls to know who they are in Christ and not what the world wants us to be. I have the websites bought and paid for and have never posted the first word. And yes, I know not to compare, but it happens anyway. So, thanks for being honest and brave. You inspire me!

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  76. love this post, thanks for being real, I too find it difficult to reveal my heart on my blog, as I don’t want to offend others, but thanks for the reminders. Love your bargains~ I love to bargain hunt for home decorations, and paint, reupholster, etc and make it mine.

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  77. Hi Jen
    Thank you for this post. I’ve been tentatively starting a blog for about a year now. I’ve finally decided recently to just dive ahead and see where God takes me. One of the biggest things that was hold ing me back is the huge feelings of ‘not enough’ I’m terrible at editing and feel like my topics are either already out there or just not worth the conversation.
    I think we do need more of you around.
    To be honest I think you may be on to something. Because I think you’re cry is one that is felt by many.

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  78. I have just discovered you, but have to say that I really loved your post. I am older middle-aged, plus sized on a very tight budget and not in the best of health. Trying to look good in these circumstances is tough. I look forward to seeing your posts in the future. Also posts on other topics. I feel as if I’ve found a new friend. Thanks.

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  79. I’m glad you’re back. This is the first time I’ve read your blog (found it via in.courage me) and this post is dead on to how I am feeling lately! “I started second guess myself, over thinking everything and then I just stopped posting. ” It’s like you read my mind. I write and I write well. I know God uses it to share my thoughts and stories with others. He uses my writing to show who I truly am. The real, unedited me. Sometimes I’ve been so paralyzed with fear, I quit creating- cold turkey. Just stop and never look back. It can go on for days, or weeks or months because I am to worried about being perfect or what others think. How totally skewed my views have been because I have a God who says, “If God if for us, who is against us?”. When I stop creating, I stop letting God speak through me. I stop writing, I stop crafting, I stop speaking up, I stop taking pictures, I stop blogging, I stop posting pictures, I being myself all because I am to concerned with what people think of me, or because I believe I am inadequate, not worth the time, or not perfect like all those on Pinterest people or my Facebook /Instagram friends. My life is messy and I will admit that I’ve also stopped dead in my tracks and stopped being myself. I buried myself right into a hole and never came full out. I believe God is pulling me out and he is showing me my strength comes from him alone!

    Please keep posting these, it’s imperfections and unedited life that keeps me coming back to blogs! I love seeing real life and sharing in peoples lives with them. Seeing life from another perspective. When I first started reading blogs, most of them were raw and hadn’t quite gone into full business mode looking like a published magazine every post they made. That’s not what drew me to blogging and it’s won’t be what keeps from from blogging or looking at blogs.

    Your in.courage.me article was amazing and I don’t think I could have summed it up any better.

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    Jen Reply:

    Thank you so much for your sweet words and I wholeheartedly echos your sentiments here too. While I fully acknowledge there is so much good that comes from Pinterest and the online world, it’s also where the enemy has a hay day in my life. I’m just having to take that step back and lean into the beauty that I want to create, but also acknowledge all the bedlam that comes from this little ole home of ours. :) We are on this journey together, friend.

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  80. Today is the first time I’ve read your blog. I found it through a link on a friend of mine’s blog (Dine & Dish). Your post hit home on so many points for me.
    First, you look lovely in all of your pics. I didn’t see eyebrows that weren’t filled in or a figure that needed spanx. I saw a lovely smile & a woman that is comfortable in her own skin. Your style of writing makes me think that I would love to sit down and chat over a cup of coffee with you.
    I’ve done some thrift shopping off & on over the years – at yard sales, thrift stores and consignment stores. It takes a bit more time, knowing what you want/need and being flexible in what you are willing to try on.
    I appreciate your honesty about the comparison trap. It is so easy to fall in to. With the advent of Pinterest, Instagram, etc. it is so easy to edit or filter each thing we share with our online friends. I look forward to going on this journey with you.

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  81. I’ve missed the Frugal Fashionista series! I absolutely agree that if we spend a little extra time on ourselves (vs. sweatpants) we feel SO MUCH better about ourselves. I am a much better momma and wife when I feel better about myself! I have always LOVED the thrill of a good deal and rarely buy things that aren’t either from the clearance rack or thrift stores. It’s not that I can’t afford buying new. It just makes finacial sense and the thrill of the search has become a hobby:) I hate the pressure that we are all under to look a certain way, wear a certain brand, etc. I love the reaction I get when someone compliments me and I tell them that I got it at the thrift store! I think it surprises people and encourages them to be real with me. We all make assumptions about others’ based on appearance and when we are willing to let down our pretenses, that is when we really get to know each other. Please don’t let the pressure of the internet give the enemy power. Your readers need to keep receiving the message that “We are enough!”. I love that you admit your insecurities (because, man oh man, we ALL have them!) but don’t let them deter you from doing your work and sharing the message of loving each other right where we are! I love that you put it all out there. You seem so real (and fun:)…like someone I could be friends with IRL:) Keep up the good work!

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  82. So glad you are back and taking a step of courage. Forget the few negative comments there is bound to be one or two in every circle…. life is too short and at the same time jam pack with stuff life brings… You are totally beautiful in all the great finds you are sharing…blog on sista you rock!

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  83. GAH! You know I love this in every way.
    (“I miss those good ole days.” — me, too.)
    Let’s bring ‘em back, baby!

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  84. Melissa Mulvaney says:

    Could you be more amazing?!?!?! I love this post and your heart behind it. The ‘Pinterest perfect’ comment hit me so hard. I’ve had to stop going on Pinterest unless I need a recipe because the ‘perfection infection’ is just too much for me. I push myself hard enough as a perfectionist (trying to be a recovered perfectionist;) I don’t need to perfection of Pinterest to push me more.
    It makes me think of a quote from Lysa TerKeurst about not comparing your insides to other people’s outsides. How easy that is for us women to do!! So thank you, thank you for being real. You don’t know how much it means to me!!

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